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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 16389
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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Could I ask a probate question please? state? Does that mean

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Hi could I ask a probate question please?
JA: Estate laws vary by state. What state are you in?
Customer: state ? Does that mean you are in the US?
JA: What documents or supporting evidence do you have?
Customer: we have the grant of probate
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: The question we have is with whom does ownership of an inherited house rest after probate has been granted to two executors who are also sole beneficiaries IF THE HOUSE REMAINS REGISTERED in the name of the deceased?

Good afternoon. I will assist with your question - be aware this is an email not chat service therefore i maybe delayed in replying.

who are you the the deceased please? when did they die?

who are the executors?

what do you mean remains registered? is it unoccupied? for sale?

F E Smith and 5 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
The deceased is our sister. She died 06.10.2018. My brother and I are sole executors and joint beneficiaries. The house is tenanted. We have been sharing the rent since our sister passed. The Grant of Probate was issued 14.12.2018.
I have been advised by HMRC that We need to declare the rental income on our personal returns and the estate matters are in fact finalised. My brother’s advisors take an opposing view that the estate is still an income-generating entity since the Land Registry records still show our sister as the owner. In this event, the rental income will increase the value of the estate and the potential for IHT. We have not paid IHT so far since the total estate value was under the 325k threshold at around £300k. HMRC are happy that from the date of the Grant of Probate we, as beneficiaries, can be considered to be the owners. The opposing view is that it is still held by the estate. So our fundamental issue seems to be who is the legal owner when the Grant of Probate is issued to the trustees/beneficiaries but the property remains registered at Land Registry in our sister’s name? Phew!

We are in the UK. The site is administered in the United States but we are a UK qualified and UK based lawyers.

You are asking the question in the UK a section of Just Answer.

The house will remain in the name of the deceased until such time as an application is made to the land registry.

That is done using land registry form assent AS1, which transfers the property into the name of the beneficiaries. The grant of probate is the authority to do that.

The land registry will also want form AP1 (don’t ask me why because it doesn’t do anything but they do like their forms) and they may want an ID1 for each of the executors. They don’t need it for the beneficiaries. This latter form needs a photograph certified by a solicitor as being a true likeness.

The beneficiaries declare the rental not the executors.

The property vests in the beneficiaries at the date of death even though they may only become the legal owners later on. The rental income from the date of death vests in the beneficiaries also.

Can I clarify anything else for you?

I am happy to answer any specific points arising from this.

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Best wishes.


Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Thanks very much, that’s great. Just to clarify, can all estate admin duties be considered dealt with even though the land registry transfer of title has not been done, and if not, is the estate still considered to be “live” until the title is transferred? I think your previous answer tells me all I need to know but I am sure my brother and his advisors will claim that the estate is still living, breathing and generating income.
PS I think I have given you five stars and a tip, but not sure.... tell me if not. Couldn’t be sure if the 5 stars were properly dispatched...
Jack Jordan

Five stars received in good order. Thank you.

The estate is not wound up until everything is finished.

All the monies can be distributed except for any minor fees such as the land registry fee.

However whether an estate is “alive” or dead (no pun intended) is academic because there is no official turning off of the light switch so to speak.

Any income from the estate goes to the beneficiaries so it doesn’t really matter whether it’s in their name yet or not.

I’m not altogether certain whether I’m missing the point of your last query.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Thanks, ***** ***** does seem a bit daft in retrospect...Can I ask (hopefully the last point) I am proposing that we1) Declare the rental payments received on our income tax returns.
2) Register the property in our joint names with Land Registry.
3) Eventually sell it, presumably paying CGT on the diff between inherited and sold values (less personal allowances).Can you advise whether the above would be problematical in any way, by that I mean could we be held accountable by HMRC for not dealing with the estate in the correct manner or missing any important points. Thanks in advance...

I don’t think you have dealt with it in an incorrect manner so that wouldn’t bother me. Your proposed course of action is correct.